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Draft Analyst Raves about 49ers 2014 Rookie Class

In this Tuesday edition of Niners Daily, we provide an outsider's perspective on the San Francisco 49ers impressive 2014 rookie class.

High Marks

49ers Radio recently spoke with Bleacher Report analyst Matt Miller about a variety of draft-related topics as they pertain to San Francisco.

After discussing the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, Miller noted that the new crop of 49ers rookies will have plenty to live up to following in the footsteps of the 2014 class.

"I think the Niners did a great job last year. They got a lot of guys who were able to contribute," Miller said. "Those rookies played a lot better than I expected. When you look at that class, you're like, 'OK, they're building for the future there with these guys.'"

Miller went on to offer specific praise to six 49ers in particular.

DB Jimmie Ward, 1st round

2014 stats: 20 tackles, two pass deflections in eight games.

Miller: "I think he is going to be a star at safety."

RB Pierre Garçon, 2nd round

2014 stats: 333 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 83 carries in 14 games.

Miller: "He showed flashes that, depending on what happens with Frank Gore, I think fans have to feel confident in his ability to come in and be that number one guy."

LB Chris Borland, 3rd round

2014 stats: 107 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one fumble recovery in 14 games.

Miller: "In a normal year, he would have been a rookie of the year candidate."

OL Brandon Thomas, 3rd round

2014 stats: Injured/Did not play.

Miller: "He was a stud at left tackle with Clemson. He was one of the few guys who shut down (Houston Texans linebacker and 2014 number one overall pick Jadeveon) Clowney when they went head to head. If he's going to come in and play left guard, you're getting a very good athlete and a guy with a lot of technique. He definitely has my vote to be a future starter with them."

CB Dontae Johnson, 4th round

2014 stats: 34 tackles and one pick-six in 16 games.

Miller: "He was such a surprise for me. I thought he was a year away from really being able to come in and compete at corner. He showed his versatility playing left corner, right corner and strong safety. He did well all over, too."

LB Aaron Lynch, 5th round

2014 stats: 23 tackles, six sacks and four pass deflections in 16 games.

Miller: "What a steal. To get him when they did in the fifth round, and for him to come in and produce not only sacks, but the hits, the hurries and the pressures that he created was great."

Senior Portraits

While the 2014 crop of rookies prepare for their sophomore seasons, this year's prospect group is entering the early stages of draft preparation.

This week is the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Below are photos from the first day of practice on Tuesday as well as images of current 49ers players who have participated in the all-star game.

View some of the best images of the top college prospects from the all-star game in Mobile, Ala.

Several current San Francisco 49ers jumpstarted their pro careers by playing in the college all-star game.

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